Principals / Executive Directors, Directors, Regional Directors, Assistant Directors-General, Deputy Directors-General and Associate Directors-General:
Before the account is established, the resources required to monitor, update and moderate social media websites should be seriously considered. Social media is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week medium. Social media accounts like Facebook need to be monitored after hours, on weekends and on holidays. You will need to consider how staff will be compensated for their time out of hours.
Social Media sites should be established for the entire school not for separate classes, areas or events like fetes, anniversaries or campaigns.
Consider if there truly is a need for you to establish an account. Is your audience the same as DET corporate accounts? If so, capitalise on the established audience instead of starting without any followers.
Before establishing a Facebook, Twitter or YouTube account complete the appropriate checklist.
Departmental or school information is to be used when establishing the account and a generic email address should also be used that can be accessed by a range of people. If the initiative has a specific end date this should be clearly stated in the information or notes.
Once your account has been approved by the principal or Director-General (see Responsibilities) Community Engagement and Partnerships must be emailed the following information:
- login and password
- the account’s purpose
- officers authorised to access the account.
Nominate one or more staff members to administer the site. Administrators should respect the privacy of individuals who choose to follow / like the social media account.
Executive Directors / Directors:
The administrator for a departmental account should be nominated by the Director/ Executive Director of the requesting area. This information is to be included in the General Briefing Note requesting approval to establish a social media site. Administrators should respect the privacy of individuals who choose to follow / like the social media account.
Allegations of harm
In the instance of an allegation of harm or possible harm being caused against a student via the conduct of an employee erising from a social media issue, account or profile, supervisors should reference the Allegations Against Employees in the Area of Student Protection procedure and refer matters to the Ethical Standards Unit for assessment and consideration. The guidelines contained within the procedure will assist individuals to determine the most appropriate referral type. Should you require clarification or assistance pelase call the Complaints Management Team on 3055 2950 for advice.
Comments and discussions
Social media is a two-way conversation and administrators must be prepared to allow individuals to comment and post to the page. Even if an administrator decides to turn off the Facebook post setting, individuals are still able to comment underneath posts.
The Department of Education and Training Acceptable use guidelines are to be made easily available for individuals accessing the Facebook page in the ‘Notes’ section. The intent of these guidelines is to ensure individuals are able to contribute views to the page or site without being exposed to inappropriate content, offensive language or discriminatory views. All comments are to be moderated by the administrator in a timely manner.
Facebook auto-generates 'community and business pages' for Queensland state schools from information provided on Facebook profiles and posts. Information is also taken from Wikipedia and other sources, and displayed on community pages. Schools should monitor these pages as comments from personal accounts can be pulled onto community pages. Schools should request individuals remove these posts if they are offensive, derogatory or incorrect.
Facebook places this statement on the Community Pages:
"Description above from the Wikipedia article Smith State High School, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors here. Community Pages are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, anyone associated with the topic."
Schools have the option of posting the following statement on the Community Page:
Facebook automatically generates community pages for Queensland state schools including (INSERT SCHOOL NAME IN FULL) which are not administered by the department. The information on this page may be incorrect and may misrepresent the views of the school, students or staff. The department will not be legally responsible for any loss or damage arising from the publication of any information on these pages or reliance on it.
Fans, friends or following
Departmental pages or sites should not follow any businesses, political parties or religious organisations and due care must be taken when following individuals.
When caretaker period is in place contact the Director, Community Engagement and Partnerships for advice on the Caretaker Guidelines.
Profanity block list
In the settings section of the Facebook account, the profanity block list should be on 'Strong'. A range of words can also be added to the 'Moderation blocklist'. Contact CEP for the most up-to-date list.
Social media sites reclaim accounts if they are inactive for an extended period of time (in most cases 6 months). It is recommended schools and departmental areas do not create accounts unless they are prepared to update them on a regular basis.
Principal /Executive Director or Director
Approve and check that the information in posts is suitable for release to the public and does not contain any information that is restricted or sensitive to the department or school operations. Posts are to be apolitical, impartial, professional and sensitive to the diversity of the Australian public.
Do not post any material* that:
- is racist, hateful, defamatory, libellous, derogatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, discriminatory or humiliating to another person or organisation
- is pornographic or contains nudity
- vilifies individuals based on their religion, gender, race or sexuality
- contains material (written, audio, video and other electronic forms) that infringes Intellectual Property rights such as copyright
- contains personal information about another individual without their consent (including identifying information, email addresses, phone numbers or private addresses)
- falsely represents another individual, organisation, government or entity
- infers endorsement of a product, business, company or organisation
- promotes a product, business, company or organisation
- is a statement that may interfere with or prejudice the course of or otherwise deals with civil or criminal proceedings that are presently before any court, tribunal, commission or similar body or any investigation by the police, Crime and Corruption Commission or other agency.
* Material includes text, photos, graphics, account names/usernames and account images/profile pictures.
Profile pictures and profile design
Profile pictures should be the Queensland Government or school logo, departmental initiatives approved design or suitable image. The designated images should be included with the General Briefing Note (if required).
Schools should ensure that their websites are regularly updated so individuals without social media accounts can access relevant and up-to-date information.
Uploading images, information, podcasts or videos
Schools should not post images or recordings of students including copyright materials without specific parental consent. To obtain parental or guardian consent schools should use the department’s consent forms which are part of the Obtaining and managing student and individual consent procedure.
Administrators should ensure that photos are appropriate, not tagged and disparaging comments are not placed underneath. Schools must not use image hosting sites or apps such as Vimeo, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, Picasa, Image Shack or the like as informed consent cannot be obtained from parents, carers or guardians. Before uploading content schools will need to check they have correct consent and that the content does not infringe copyright laws. To assist individuals with visual or hearing disabilities, title images, videos or photos with a descriptor or correct departmental initiative title should be used.